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Training is essential at all stages of the employee lifecycle—from before you even hire someone to when they leave the company.

The employee lifecycle involves the following stages:

  • Attraction
  • Recruitment
  • Onboarding
  • Enablement
  • Development
  • Retention
  • Separation

In this seven-part blog series, we’ll discuss why and how to implement a good training program to support each stage of the employee lifecycle.

If you missed our first blog on Attraction, check it out now.

Why Training Matters for Candidates

Our next focus is Recruitment. Training plays a huge role when convincing candidates to join your team for many of the same reasons that it’s important during Attraction. Training is a must-have for the modern workforce and training will create more engaged employees who evangelize the company.

70 percent of new hires come from referrals, so when you have a highly engaged workforce (thanks to training), those employees are much more likely to refer really good candidates.

Recruitment doesn’t always mean appealing to potential candidates. It can also mean catching the attention of recruiting professionals looking to place quality candidates—and training helps here, too.

As this Monster article points out, “Increasingly, your company will be recognized by recruitment professionals who seek to place ambitious candidates within your organization partly on the strength of your company’s reputation—and the strength and quality of your training.”

Training will help secure employee referrals and build a brand of engagement that is important for both applicants and recruiters who want to place their best candidates.

Why Training Matters During Interviews

Training can help equip interviewers and hiring managers with interview techniques and skills to properly assess candidates. Offer communications and behavior-based interview training for anyone who will speak with candidates; this will help develop current employees and help bring the best talent on board. Win-win!

How you rollout a training program like this is just as important as actually having one. Keep these four things in mind when you institute an interview training program:

  1. Have your leaders go through the program first. Not only does this help win buy-in from them, but also an executive who has participated in the same training as the rest of the organization is a powerful role model when he is observed applying the training.
  2. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Provide information for the employee about exactly what the training session will involve and why they are taking it, prior to the training. This will help learners understand expectations and objectives.
  3. Collect feedback. After the training session, ask your employees for feedback on what they liked and what could be improved. A few months after the session, ask again to see if the skills they learned are helping them during the interview process.
  4. Assess and measure results. On a constant basis, assess the effectiveness of the training over time with the feedback and any behavioral changes that can be measured. Use the results to tweak the program as needed.

An often-ignored best practice during the recruitment stage is pre-employment testing. Not drug testing! A skills assessment that will help you not only understand more about what candidates are good at, but also how your team can work best with them and support them through the employee lifecycle.  Entrepreneur sums it up nicely, “How much is it worth for you to know an individual’s strengths and weaknesses, not just as a hire/don’t hire test, but as a coaching tool to help you determine their training needs and the best approach to maximize the person’s productivity?”

You can use the recruitment stage to understand the candidate’s future training needs and what kind of development opportunities might entice them to join your organization.

A solid training program is valuable for Recruitment; there’s no doubt about it. It will help you recruit the best talent because they care very deeply about development and gaining new skills. It will help you get great referrals because your employees will be highly engaged and successful and willing to spread the word. It will help you create excellent interviewers to select the best applicants and strengthen your company.

Next week we’ll discuss the Onboarding stage. Stay tuned!